USC Salkehatchie Athletics

2014 Soccer Preview

USC SALKEHATCHIE 2014 MEN’S SOCCER PREVIEW

The word is out on USC Salkehatchie soccer and that word is – “the Indians are for real!” That’s because the team has posted winning records now for each of the last three years. The Indians have also played and won some very exciting matches against prominent in-state opponents recently and those results have not gone unnoticed by the South Carolina soccer community. What this all means is that many of the state’s standout soccer players are now giving Salk a look when it comes time to start making their college plans. This year, several of the state’s top players have progressed beyond being interested and gone ahead and committed to wear the garnet & gold when the college soccer season rolls around this fall. “We have the strongest group of recruits we have ever had from South Carolina this year,” according to USC Salkehatchie Head Soccer Coach Bill Glass. “If they will come in here with the right attitude, I am confident that we will be able to help them along with their soccer careers.” The local boys will quickly find what others have found before them: college soccer is fast and it is physical. That means the two-a-day practices which will be starting up shortly on the Allendale campus will be intense. “We will lose 2 or 3 guys the first week if past history is any predictor,” says Glass, “not because of cuts but because they will decide on their own that college soccer is not for them.” For many of the new recruits this will be the first time they have been thrown in with high level international players. The motto of these players is “play hard in training if you want to play hard in matches.” Coach Glass believes that the ball is the best teacher and that the best way to develop players is to give them the chance to hone their game against other advanced players. “I like to transition into match conditions early on in every training session,” says Glass. “This means that we are playing a lot of soccer every day during pre-season.” Of course this approach to preseason practices requires that the players report to training in good condition. If fitness test results indicate otherwise, Glass has been known to lock up the soccer balls and focus only on conditioning for the first couple weeks of training.
Preseason training will begin soon and the USC Salkehatchie staff is looking forward to greeting all the incoming student athletes who will liven up the campus after the long summer break. Midfielders Penn Jean Baptiste and Ricardo Foster along with defender Wayne Warsop will be returning to Allendale from their home in South Florida after starting for the team during the 2013 campaign. New players coming up from South Florida include defenders Samson Metelus, Davin Christian and Fritz Richards along with midfielder John Elisee. Junior Humes a midfielder from Middleburg will come to Salkehatchie from the northern part of the Sunshine State. Florida will not be the only southern state providing student athletes for the Indians soccer team. Hinesville, Georgia, will contribute defender Nathaniel Hart while forward, Chris Churchill, will come to the team from Huntsville, Alabama. On the international front, Coach Glass will once again rely on the recommendations of several coaches in Jamaica. This year, striker Tevin Daley and defender Shemar Muirhead will be joining returning defender Dave Stone on the team. All three are from Westmoreland. Goalkeeper Richard Trench of Hanover will round out the Jamaican contingent on the squad.
As would be expected most of the Indians will hail from the Palmetto state. Forward Michael Hazel of Brunson and defender Joshua Witt of Cassat will be returning for their second season at Salk. New additions to the squad will include forwards Tyler Brazell of Leesville and Adam Hicks of Lexington, along with defenders Joshua Gochett of Elgin and Giancarlo Lagombra of Columbia. Midfielders Tre Douglas of Columbia, Luis Lemus of North Charleston, Jonathan Salinas of Leesville, and Alex Santoyo of Lexington will also be coming in new for 2014. In addition to Glass, the coaching staff will see former USC Aiken player and current USC Salkehatchie Director of Recruiting Joey Hughes return for his third year as Assistant Soccer Coach. He will be joined by Brandon Woods who will be the team’s goalkeeper coach. Woods was starting goalkeeper for the Indians last year.
The new and returning players are determined to make the most of their time at Salk. They know that junior college has served as a springboard for many successful academic and athletic careers. USC Salkehatchie competes in Division I of the national junior college athletic association and many junior college soccer teams are loaded with D-I and D-II caliber players. So it is not surprising that scouts from NCAA college teams look to junior colleges for high level soccer players as transfers. A good way to tell how the Salkehatchie soccer program is progressing is to look at how many Indians alumni are being recruited to play at 4-year colleges. “At this point we have a solid track record of sending guys on to play at the next level,” according to Glass. “What is sad is to think of how much better that record would be if our soccer players would work as hard on their academics as they do on their soccer skills.” Unfortunately every year the team loses a star player or two because of poor grades. The NCAA coaches who have been following those players are then faced with the reality that these prospects are just not ever going to be academically eligible. That is a key reason why the Salkehatchie soccer program emphasizes the importance of academics and encourages team members to see themselves as students first and athletes second. Being successful as a college soccer player requires success in the classroom.
Preseason training begins on August 4th when the team will have a scant 7 days to prepare for their first exhibition match. The game at Middle Georgia State College kicks off at 5pm in Cochran, GA, on Monday, August 11. Later that week, the Indians will travel to Franklin Springs, GA, for a friendly with Emmanuel College set for 4pm on Saturday, August 16. On Thursday, August 21 at 5pm, the team is scheduled to play at Mount Olive College, NC, and then on Monday, August 25, the boys will scrimmage Georgia Southern University at 7pm in Statesboro, GA. The team’s first regular season match will be at Wake Tech in Raleigh, NC, with kick off set for 4pm. The Indians will play their first home game on Thursday, September 3, at 3pm, when they host USC Lancaster at their home field on the Allendale